As a dynamic group of engaged and informed alumni, the alumni UBC Advisory Council provides advice and counsel to the alumni UBC Board and the Associate Vice-President/Executive Director, alumni UBC. The Council is also available as a unique group for consultation by university leaders on key UBC developments and opportunities. Council members:
- Advise on emerging strategies for engaging UBC alumni
- Participate in active dialogues around university issues and opportunities
- Communicate to, and share feedback from, their alumni constituencies and peer groups
- Bring leadership and expertise to committees and special work teams of the Board as requested
- Serve as passionate ambassadors and advocates for UBC and alumni UBC
Ross Langford, BCom’89, LLB’89 – Co-Chair, alumni UBC Advisory Council; Chair, alumni UBC Board of Directors
Connie Fair, BCom’84, MBA’88 – Sauder School of Business
Connie Fair is the President and CEO of the Land Title and Survey Authority of BC (LTSA). She has a BComm and MBA from UBC and recently obtained the designation of CPA, CMA.
Connie joined the LTSA from the role of President and CEO of BC Assessment, where she helped that organization earn a reputation as one of the world’s leaders in property assessment. Prior to joining BC Assessment, Connie worked as a real estate consultant, and was the Associate Director of the Real Estate Division within the UBC’s Sauder School of Business. Administration.
Connie is a member of the Real Estate Institute of Canada and was awarded a honorary designation with the Appraisal Institute of Canada to recognize her work within the professional appraisal community. In 2012, she earned her designation as an Institute-Certified Director through the Institute of Corporate Directors and currently serves on the Board of the International Women’s Forum, Vancouver. In 2012, Connie was also named as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women by the WXN.
An accomplished author and speaker, Connie is recognized internationally as an expert in property assessment, and innovative application of technology in property valuation as well as a leader of organizational change initiatives.
Warren Beach, BA’89 – Athletics & Recreation
Warren graduated from UBC in 1989 (BA – Political Science) and was a member on the Men’s Varsity Rowing Team throughout his time at UBC.
After graduating from UBC, Warren went on to earn his Chartered Accountant designation with Ernst and Young in Vancouver. His career has spanned a number of industries and he has served as CFO of Sierra Systems Group, TimberWest and at Aritzia. He then went on to serve as CEO of Hold It All Inc., the holding company of Chip Wilson (founder of Lululemon). Warren currently serves as the President & CEO of Augusta Capital Corporation.
Warren has completed executive education at Harvard University and recently obtained the ICD.D designation for Corporate Board Governance at the University of Toronto Rotman School of Management.
Warren serves on the Board of the Boys and Girls Clubs Foundation of South Coast BC, the Board of the BC Parks Foundation (Chair of the Finance Committee) and is a member of the UBC “Gold of Life” Committee supporting rowing at the University of British Columbia. He also serves as a mentor/coach with the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs.
Previously, Warren served for six years as Vice-Chair of the Board of the BC Woman’s Health Foundation and served for seven years on the Cabinet of the United Way (serving as Cabinet Co-Chair in 2011/12).
Warren is a member of the Lotus Cycling Team based in Vancouver.
Nancy Cho, BSc’82 – Faculty of Medicine
Nancy Cho graduated from UBC with a Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation (BSR’82), educated as both a physiotherapist and occupational therapist, and an MBA’94.
At Vancouver Coastal Health, Nancy was the Regional Practice Lead, Physical Therapy providing professional practice leadership to 400 physiotherapists and rehabilitation assistants. Along with her team she ensured safe, competent physiotherapy services by developing best clinical practices across the continuum of care. She retired from this position in June 2020 and now works casually on the frontline.
Since 1994, Nancy has been a UBC Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Medicine. Nancy has been an active alumnus assisting with several fundraising projects, including establishing the Rehab Alumni bursary in 1982, that has since dispersed over $ 92,000, fundraising for other scholarships, bursary funds, and the Friedman Building renovation project. She was a recipient of a UBC 75th Anniversary award, 20 year Long Service Honour in 2018, and a UBC Alumni Builder Award in 2018-19.
Other professional activities include Chair of the BC Physiotherapy Leadership Council Chair (7 yrs), and Chair of the Canadian Physiotherapy Written Test Construction and was recognized by the Canadian Association of Physiotherapy Regulators with an Award of Distinction in 2017 after 25 years of service. The Canadian Physiotherapy Association recognized her in 2014 with an Excellence in Leadership award. Provincially she was recognized in 2009 with the BC Leadership award and in 2017 for the Professional Contribution award.
Iggy Chong, BCom’82 – Regional Markets Hong Kong
Ignatius KK (Iggy) Chong is Managing Director for the Greater China market at RBC Wealth Management in Hong Kong. Prior to RBC Wealth Management, Iggy held a number of senior roles at Coutts, which he joined in 1994, including Hong Kong Market Head, North Asia Head and Chair of the Family Business and Philanthropy division. Before working at Coutts, Iggy’s career in financial services began with RBC, where he supported the launch of RBC Private Banking Asia in 1990.
Born in Singapore, Iggy moved to Canada in 1977 and graduated in 1982 from UBC with a degree in finance. He obtained his CFA designation in 1996, and is a fellow member of the Institute of Canadian Bankers (FICB).
Tara Cookson, BA’09 – UBC Okanagan
Dr. Tara Cookson is Co-Founder and Director of Ladysmith, a feminist research consultancy that helps international development organizations collect, analyze, and take action on gender data. She has worked with UN Women, UNICEF, the OECD Development Assistance Committee, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, conducting research and advising on social policy and gender equitable development. Following original research in Peru on women’s experiences of participating in the world’s biggest anti-poverty schemes, Tara authored Unjust Conditions: Women’s Work and the Hidden Cost of Cash Transfer Programs. She published the book Open Access through University of California Press in order to reach policymakers and program designers. This research led her to start Ladysmith, and bridge the gap between critical social science research and the policies and programs that impact women’s lives.
Tara holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge, where she was a Gates Cambridge Scholar, an MA in Women and Gender Studies from the University of Toronto, and a BA in International Relations and Spanish from UBC’s Okanagan Campus (’09). In 2017 Tara was thrilled to have the opportunity to return to UBC as a SSHRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Geography at the Vancouver campus. In 2014 she received the Bill Gates Sr Prize for founding a leadership program for early career researchers at the University of Cambridge, called Learning for Purpose. She previously served as a proud board member of the Women’s Resource Centre in her hometown of Kelowna.
Natalie Cook Zywicki – Associate Vice-President/Executive Director, alumni UBC
Natalie Cook Zywicki is a member of the University of British Columbia’s development and alumni engagement leadership team. As the Executive Director/AVP for alumni UBC, Natalie plays a key role in leading efforts towards establishing a strong, sustainable and growing culture of alumni engagement at UBC and building a robust, strategic partnership between the alumni association and the university.
Natalie served as the Associate Executive Director at alumni UBC during UBC’s highly successful start an evolution alumni engagement and fundraising campaign, which concluded in September 2015. This dual-goal campaign was unique in Canada and exceeded expectations by raising $1.624 billion and engaging 130,005 alumni (more than doubling the annual rate of engagement since its launch).
In 2009, Natalie was appointed the Director of University Partnerships at alumni UBC and was tasked with the unique challenge of establishing a cohesive campus-wide alumni engagement program. Today, as the result of Natalie’s leadership, UBC has a highly effective cross-campus alumni engagement program that works collaboratively.
Over the past 28 years, Natalie has enjoyed successful careers in student recruitment, alumni engagement and fundraising in the post-secondary sector. Prior to joining UBC, Natalie launched her career in student recruitment at Brock University and then served six years at McMaster University successfully leading the DeGroote School of Business alumni and development program. In 2004, Natalie joined UBC as the Manager of Development and went on to lead the Faculty of Medicine’s alumni and development program, as well as the annual giving program.
Natalie, holds a BA and an MBA and has presented at several Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education (CCAE) national conferences and served on the CCAE National Board from 2008 to 2011.
Dustin Cook, BA’01, MA’02 – Alumni at Large
Dustin holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts from the University of British Columbia and has served on Alumni UBC’s Finance and Audit Committee since 2008. He has spent the past thirteen years working in the Wealth Management industry, including over a decade with RBC. Dustin has achieved the Certified International Wealth Manager, Chartered Investment Manager, Financial Management Advisor, and Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute professional designations. He currently manages the Dustin Cook Advisory Group with RBC Dominion Securities and is an Associate Portfolio Manager and Wealth Advisor.
Dustin regularly fundraises for charities and is an avid supporter of Big Brothers Greater Vancouver. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family, pursuing outdoor activities, restoring antique tools, and woodworking.
Michelle Cook, MJ’00 – Regional Market – Calgary
Michelle Cook is a Calgary-based senior communications advisor for the Government of Alberta. In a career spanning more than 20 years, Michelle has gained broad experience in the government, post-secondary education, and journalism sectors. She previously worked for Global Affairs Canada as well as the U.S. Department of State as the public affairs specialist at the U.S. Consulate General in Calgary. She also worked in UBC’s public affairs office for several years, where she specialized in promoting UBC’s research and teaching success stories to media worldwide. Her additional experience includes reporting for both of Vancouver’s daily newspapers, the Sun and the Province, and a stint at CTV Television in Calgary during the 1988 Winter Olympics. She has a Master of Journalism (’00) from the University of British Columbia and a BA in English from McGill University in Montreal. She has lived and worked across Canada as well as in Okinawa, Japan and Singapore, and spent a year at Hokkai Gakuen University in Sapporo, Japan as a visiting research fellow, examining current issues in Japanese society, economy and culture.
Jennifer Cue, BCom’86 – Alumni at Large
Jennifer is a board member and significant shareholder of Jones Soda Co., a craft beverage company founded in Vancouver BC, now headquartered in Seattle, WA, as well as an investor and advisor in multiple other consumer or retail companies.
Jennifer’s background included banking, investment banking and venture capital prior to joining full time with a portfolio company, Jones Soda Co. In 1994 Jennifer joined Jones Soda Co. as a board member and then joined the company full time in 1995 to launch the company’s flagship brand, Jones Soda. From 1995 to the end of 2005, Jennifer played a key role in the launch and building of the Jones Soda brand and company, acting as CFO, COO and a board member. She ultimately returned to the Company as CEO in 2012 until 2020 to turn the company around, invest in the company and build its portfolio of beverages.
Jennifer and Jones Soda Co. have created an Advisory Board for the company, which includes a selection of students from multiple universities, including those from the UBC Sauder School of Business, all who get the opportunity to participate in brand advisory meetings.
Jennifer received her BCom (Finance) from UBC in 1986 and completed an MBA (International Business) from McGill University in 1990. Jennifer is also a Chartered Financial Analyst. Jennifer has lived and/or worked in Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Paris, Rome, San Francisco and Seattle.
Cole Evans – Student Representative – AMS
Currently serving as the President of the AMS of UBC Vancouver (AMS) – the leading student union in Canada – Cole has over three years of student leadership experience in the UBC community. With a professional background in project management, marketing, and the performing arts, he has a slate of diverse experiences that supports his passion for improving the experiences of UBC students. At the AMS, Cole’s work as President focuses on three core areas he’s passionate about; strategic development, business management, and community engagement. In addition to his role as AMS President, Cole is also currently serving as a Senator on the UBC Vancouver Senate.
Originally from Calgary, Cole enjoys skiing, hockey, travelling, and writing music when he’s out of the office. Prior to being elected as AMS President, Cole served as the AMS Vice-President Administration for the 2019/20 year. Additional experiences include a term as Chair of the AMS Human Resources Committee while serving as an elected Director of the AMS, as well as various positions in undergraduate societies.
Derek Fung, BA’99, BA’00, Dip (Ed)’00 – Alumni at large
Derek is an IT Consultant in the healthcare industry currently focused on improving patient care through the modernization and enhancement of clinical systems and technology within hospitals and care centres across British Columbia. In previous roles, Derek has held senior positions with various organizations including Electronic Arts, UBC and TELUS. With a deep passion for teaching, Derek taught telecommunications and computer networking for many years as an instructor at BCIT.
Derek completed an MBA at Queen’s University and an MBA at Cornell University. Additionally, Derek is a proud alumnus from UBC’s Faculty of Education and the Faculty of Arts and has attained a designation as a Project Management Professional and is a Cisco Certified Network Professional.
As a member on the UBC Alumni’s Advisory council, Derek believes that a positive and impactful experience in university will invariably transform a student’s personal outlook and professional life for decades ahead. By serving as an ambassador for UBC and alumni UBC, Derek strives to advocate for initiatives and strategies that will broaden and enhance both student and alumni experience to be a rewarding one.
Ross Gilmour, BASc’83 – Faculty of Applied Science
Ross Gilmour has over 37 years of experience primarily working on major design-build infrastructure projects in the construction industry across Canada and the US.
Ross is currently the Principle of Gilmour Infrastructure Consulting (GIC) in Vancouver, where he provides value engineering, constructability reviews, shadow bids / affordability estimates, critical path scheduling, risk assessments and other services for both public and private clients on major design-build (DB) and P3 infrastructure projects and pursuits across western Canada and USA.
Ross attended the University of Washington in Seattle and subsequently UBC in Vancouver where he received a BASc in Civil Engineering. During his time at both UBC and UW, Ross participated as a member of their varsity rowing teams, competing across Canada, the US and Europe. He is a professional engineer registered in the provinces of BC, Alberta, PEI, Washington and Hawaii.
Ross previously worked for Peter Kiewit Sons for 14 years as a VP and Area Manager, and prior to that for SCI / Strait Crossing for 20 years. During these periods, he held senior management roles on the pursuit and/or delivery some of the largest and most technically diverse design-build infrastructure projects in North America, including the Ottawa LRT Project, Confederation Line; Pitt River Bridge & Mary Hill Interchange Project, (DB), Vancouver; Millennium Line SkyTrain Guideway Project (DB); H-3 Windward Viaduct Project in Oahu, HI (DB); Seattle Sound Transit LRT Tunnel Project (DBB); Calgary 1988 Winter Olympic Speed Skating Oval (DBB); and Vancouver SkyTrain Expo Line (DBB).
Chris Gorczynski , BA’12, MM’13 – Alumni at Large
Chris Gorczynski is the Manager of Student Services for UBC’s Department of Civil Engineering and Director of Business Development at Vizable Insights, a data visualization consultancy specializing in Tableau. Holding two degrees from UBC, a BA in Psychology and Master of Management from the UBC Sauder School of Business, and primarily working on campus since graduating, Chris has been an active member of the UBC community for over 10 years.
Chris has served on numerous boards over the years and currently co-chairs the Master of Management Alumni Association, which he also founded and chaired from 2013 to 2015. He brings to the alumni UBC Advisory Council his passion for relationship-building and drive to empower people to do good in their community.
Judy Halbert, MEd’90 – Faculty of Education
Judy Halbert has extensive experience in K-12 education. She has served as a teacher, principal, district leader and policy advisor with the Ministry of Education.
She is a co-founder of the British Columbia Networks of Inquiry and Innovation and the Aboriginal Enhancement Schools Network (www.noii.ca) and recently served as a Canadian representative to the OECD international research program on Innovative Learning Environments. In 2015, she was honoured as one of the 100 notable graduates of the UBC Faculty of Education. She is part of the development and instructional team in the Transformative Educational Leadership Program at UBC.
With Linda Kaser, Judy co-authored Spirals of Inquiry for Equity and Quality (2013), Leadership Mindsets: Innovation and Learning in the Transformation of Schools (2009) and The Spiral Playbook (2017).
Kimani Karangu, MA’17 – Student Representative – President, Graduate Student Society
Kimani Wa Karangu was born and raised in Kenya. Currently working on his PhD in Curriculum Studies at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver Canada (UBC) where, he completed his Master of Arts (2017). His Bachelor of Education is from Kenyatta University 2013 with a focus in History and Kiswahili.
His research is focused on improving education in Africa especially in refugee camps, such as Dadaab and Kakuma.
Kimani’s last leadership positions in Kenya included: head teacher and Kiswahili teacher at a charity-run school, elected deputy Chairperson Kenya Primary School Head-teachers Association (KEPSHA) and Kenya Primary School Sports Association (KEPSSA) Voi Sub-County (2013-2015)
While still a PhD Candidate, Kimani is the President at the Graduate Student Society of UBC, Peer Advisor at the Faculty of Education Curriculum and Pedagogy Department UBC, President of the Kenyan Community in British Columbia Canada (KenBC) and member of the Liu Institute Network for Africa at UBC, above all Kimani is a volunteer radio co-host of the African Vibes show at the CO-OP Radio, Vancouver CFRO.
Umang Khandelwal, BA’15 – Recent Graduate
Umang Khandelwal is an incoming articling student at Blake, Cassels and Graydon LLP in Toronto. She is a Global Shaper with the World Economic Forum, a network of young people driving dialogue, action and change. During 2018-2019, Umang was an Action Canada Fellow – a national public policy engagement and leadership development program funded by the Government of Canada, delivered by Action Canada in partnership with the Public Policy Forum.
Umang graduated in 2018 from the University of Cambridge Faculty of Law, having served on the Board of the Faculty of Law (2015-2016) and two terms (2016-2018) on University Council, the highest governing body of the university. Umang spent a summer at Hootsuite as a legal student, assisting in international expansions, providing contractual support and improving internal legal processes.
Umang’s prior degree in International Relations was from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, where she graduated in 2015 as valedictorian of her graduating class. She spent a term abroad through Go Global at Sciences Po Paris studying economics and politics of the European Union, earning a Certificate in Social Sciences and the Humanities. She is committed to fostering inclusion in communities, having trained and practised as an antidiscrimination workshop facilitator at UBC Equity and Inclusion. During her time at UBC, she was actively involved in student politics and university governance, having served as the Speaker of the Arts Undergraduate Society Council, and as the Associate VP Academic and University Affairs at the AMS.
Umang has participated in the 2014 WTO’s Public Forum in Geneva, the 2014 Council of Europe’s World Democracy Forum in Strasbourg, and the 2013 Spring Meetings of the IMF and World Bank in Washington D.C. In 2016, she represented Canada in China as part of a five-member delegation at the Y20, one of the official stakeholder groups of the G20, and presented the negotiated policy document to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. She is dedicated to increasing access to justice for immigrants, refugees, Indigenous peoples and other groups who face structural risks, and has volunteered with the B.C. Civil Liberties Association and Access Pro Bono BC.
Since moving to Canada with her mother in 2009, Umang carries with her fond memories and values rooted in her childhood in India, which continue to shape and guide her.
Tashia Kootenayoo – President, Student Union Okanagan
Tashia Kootenayoo is a Stoney-Sioux, queer identifying woman from the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation who has been an active student-leader on the Okanagan campus for the past three years. Tashia currently serves as President of the Students’ Union of UBC Okanagan (SUO), representing UBC’s undergraduate and graduate students.
Her advocacy work currently focuses on supporting student survivors of sexualized violence and creating more accessibility to education through open educational resources. Tashia works to continuously mobilize and lead initiatives that seek to improve the university environment and administrative structures for students.
Upon completing her Bachelor of Arts with a specialization in Cultural Studies, it is Tashia’s goal to attend law school with a focus on human rights and policy.
Wilson Kwong, DMD’89 – Faculty of Dentistry
Dr. Kwong graduated from the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of British Columbia in 1989.
Practicing for 30 years now in Vancouver, Dr. Kwong enjoys mentoring his study club members on Cosmetic, Implantology, and Full Mouth Rehabilitation protocols, which he has developed to enhance patients’ lives.
Dr. Kwong is a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and the Academy of General Dentistry. He is also the founder and mentor of the Vancouver Dental Education Centre, where dentists can learn the latest in clinical patient care and practice management. Dr. Kwong has had several peer-reviewed articles published for his work with anterior and posterior implant ceramic systems. He can be found lecturing in cities throughout North America.
Just recently, Dr. Kwong was bestowed the title as a Fellow of the American College of Dentistry – FACD. A distinction he carries with much pride and honour.
Sunny Leung, BSc’00 – Faculty of Science
Sunny Leung is the Chief Development Officer at S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Foundation, one of the largest social service agencies in BC providing immigrant support in the areas of settlement services, family and senior care, and housing. Prior to joining, Sunny was a Director of Philanthropy at BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, overseeing their annual Miracle Weekend telethon as well as leading their sponsorship and Chinese community fundraising effort.
Sunny has also been involved with the Association of Fundraising Professionals since 2010, serving on their Diversity committee and participating as a panel speaker and moderator in two of their Diversity luncheons. He is now volunteering with the Association’s mentorship program, giving back to the community while helping to develop and mentor other fundraising professionals.
Juanita Lohmeyer, BSc’00 – Faculty of Science
Juanita Lohmeyer BSc, PMP, MBA, CPA, CMA is the President of J.T. Insurance Services (Canada), Inc. Lohmeyer is responsible for leading both the Commercial and Private Client Services arms at JT Insurance. Her focus is on leading customer-centric growth through a high-performance team.
Lohmeyer is an award-winning senior executive whose stellar track record has led to the honour of being named a “Top 40 under Forty” for leaders within the Vancouver Business Community. She has led teams in diverse industry sectors including financial services, telecommunications, information technology and education.
In her 20-year career, she has held senior positions in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors with most recent roles at TELUS, BCAA and ICBC. Her work has cumulated in awards from J.D. Power for Highest Customer Satisfaction and Service Quality Measurement (SQM) for World Class Employee Satisfaction.
In addition to coaching others, Lohmeyer is a relentless learner. She has taught and advised at a number of universities. As a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CMA), she has taught for CPA Canada. She holds a Master of Business Administration from Queen’s University and Cornell University with Distinction. In addition to this, she has earned a B.Sc. in Computer Science from UBC and is a Project Management Professional (PMP).
Lohmeyer is passionate about giving back and has a long record of service to disadvantaged communities in Canada and abroad. Her practical, business-based approach to creating workable solutions for providing healthcare, alleviating poverty, and empowering communities across the globe, such as Tanzania and Honduras, led to her being recognized as the winner of the UBC Volunteer Leadership Alumni Achievement Award.
Rachael L’Orsa, BASc’10, BA’11 – Recent Graduate
Rachael L’Orsa graduated from UBC with degrees in both Arts and Engineering, and is now a graduate student at the University of Calgary. She is affiliated with Project neuroArm’s Surgical Performance Laboratory at the Foothills Medical Centre, where she researches adaptive control software for tele-surgical robots.
Rachael is passionate about youth robotics, organizing free workshops for children and mentoring an all-girls high school robotics team. Rachael maintains a Primary Care Paramedic license with the BC Ambulance Service.
Diego Mandelbaum, BASc’11 – Alumni at Large
Diego Mandelbaum is the Vice President of Development at Creative Energy where he is responsible for company growth by creating new opportunities across North America to develop community energy projects and renewable infrastructure that can accelerate our transition away from fossil fuels. Prior to his role at Creative Energy, Diego was the Sector Leader and a Managing Principal at Stantec – an international engineering and design consultancy – responsible for the top line growth of British Columbia’s 350-person Buildings’ Engineering and Architecture business unit.
Diego is a participating member of several industry-related, community, and academic organizations and currently sits on UBC Okanagan’s Faculty of Applied Science Alumni and Industry committee, UBC’s Alumni Advisory Committee, and was a past Board of Director for the British Columbia Construction Roundtable. Outside of work, Diego is an avid mixed martial arts fan and an active competitor in the submission-wrestling world. He also coaches wrestling and Jiujitsu and aspires to win the World Jiu-jitsu Championships.
Danica Marsden, BSc’05 – Alumni at Large
Danica received her BSc in 2005 in combined honours Physics & Astronomy, followed by a PhD at the University of Pennsylvania in experimental cosmology. Following her PhD, Danica accepted a Keck Institute for Space Studies fellowship at Caltech and worked with a research group at UC Santa Barbara as a postdoctoral scholar. At the same time, she taught Astronomy classes at the local Santa Barbara city college and had a small electronics assembly business. After this, Danica switched gears, working in new technology development at Suncor (Petrocan) from 2013 to 2015. In 2015, Danica was recruited to quantum computing, working as a project manager for D-Wave. In 2020, she moved to a more technical role with the SQT lab at SFU, working on quantum computing with Dr. Stephanie Simmons.
Volunteering has always been important to Danica. She volunteered with the UBC astronomy club, and served on the board of Penn’s outdoor club, as well as on the Academic Disciplinary Hearing board. Danica also worked with the homeless in Philadelphia for 6 years, at Project Restart.
Steven Morrison, BMgt’11 – Regional Market – Okanagan
As a solicitor in Farris’ corporate and solicitor practice groups, Steven practices in the areas of corporate/business and commercial law, real estate, banking, financing, securities and wills and estates.
Steven gratefully serves on the board of directors for the local United Way and is often recognized for his significant community involvement including his work with University of British Columbia Okanagan Heat Athletics, alumniUBC, Okanagan College Basketball Program, and as a co-leader of November Project Kelowna.
Steven received his Juris Doctor from the University of Alberta and is also called to the Bar in Alberta.
In his spare time, Steven can be found engaged in community events, staying active, and enjoying the outdoor playground that is the Okanagan Valley. Steven was named as a 2018 City of Kelowna Civic and Community Awards’ Frank Maclin – Man of the Year finalist.
Desmond Ng, BSc’82 – Alumni-at-large
Desmond Ng has over 39 years of management and technical experience in Bids & Proposals, Business Development, Branch Office Management, Project Management, and Software Engineering. He has a BSc in Computer Science from UBC and holds a PMP designation from the Project Management Institute.
Desmond is currently a Director, Bids at Thales Canada, Transportation Solutions where he is responsible for leading multi-million dollar proposals with complex contracts and organization structures in response to domestic (Canada) and international (US, Europe, Asia Pacific, China, India, South America, Australia, Middle East) Signalling & Train Control RFPs and Tenders.
At Thales Canada, Desmond was the Vancouver Branch Office Manager accountable for the overall administration, growth, and operations of an 80+ person office consisting of Project Managers, Engineers, and Functional Departments who implemented and deployed real-time transit rail signalling systems worldwide. Prior to Thales Canada, Desmond worked at various high-tech companies including Digital Dispatch Systems and MacDonald Dettwiler & Associates, where he held increasing senior technical management positions in project management, product development, software engineering, systems integration, and post-revenue Customer support.
Desmond’s volunteer activities include the current President of the BC Centre of Ability (BCCFA) Foundation Board, multiple terms as a BCCFA Foundation Board Director, member of the BCCFA Association Board Governance Committee, and a 9-year Industry Mentor at UBC’s Computer Science Tri-Mentoring Program.
Ali Poostizadeh – Student Representative – UBCSUO
Ali currently serves as President of the Students’ Union of UBC Okanagan (SUO), representing UBC’s undergraduate and graduate students at UBCO. He also serves as the Campaigns Coordinator for the British Columbia Federation of Students, an organization representing 170,000 students across BC.
Ali’s contributions to the UBC community are rooted in his passion for public service and reducing barriers to accessing education. Under Ali’s leadership, the SUO has pivoted to increase its community outreach, federal and provincial lobbying, increased mental health services, and more.
Born in Richmond, VA and raised in Vancouver, BC, in his free time Ali enjoys spending time with family, snowboarding, reading, and traveling. This is Ali’s second year on the SUO, previously serving as Vice President Campus Life, where he had the opportunity to organize events ranging from concerts and educational events, to hosting and moderating a panel with Dr. Yusef Salaam of the Exonerated Five. Following his degree, Ali hopes to pursue a career in the legal world.
Aaron Sanderson, BA’09 – Regional Market – Toronto
Aaron Sanderson leads the national fundraising strategy for Kids Help Phone, Canada’s only national, 24/7 mental health support service for children and youth, as Senior Vice-President and Chief Development Officer.
He is an international award-winning fundraiser with over thirteen years of experience at leading non-profit organizations, including War Child, SickKids Foundation, Plan International and BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. In addition, he has over a decade of senior volunteer experience with non-profit boards and committees, including the Arthritis Society, Habitat for Humanity, Heritage Toronto, Athletics Ontario, Vantage Point and the Association of Fundraising Professionals. He has also served on the Regional Leadership Committee for Alumni UBC in Toronto, and teaches in the Fundraising Management program at Humber College.
Aaron holds an MA in Philanthropy and Development, an Associates Certificate in Non-Profit Management and a BA in Political Science and International Relations. He is the eleventh Canadian to earn the international Advanced Certified Fund-Raising Executive (ACFRE) designation, and is a Fellow of the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy (FAHP). He was named Top 40 Under 40 in North America by AHP, and a “Difference Maker” by the Rick Hansen Foundation during its 25th anniversary relay.
Jane Shackell, LLB’84 – Faculty of Law
Jane Shackell has practiced business law for over 30 years, advising senior executive teams and corporate boards on mergers and acquisitions, partnership and shareholder agreements, franchising, and owner succession. Jane provides practical and timely counsel as a trusted adviser to clients in diverse industries. She is also one of British Columbia’s foremost Fairness Advisors for public sector procurement, advising owners on fairness issues related to public-private partnerships and conventionally-procured projects.
Suzanne Solven, BSc (Pharm)’87 – Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Suzanne Solven is the Associate Vice President Audit, Investigations and Quality Assurance at Pacific Blue Cross. Suzanne brings over 30 years of strategic leadership experience to these positions to ensure health benefits plan sustainability by effective fraud management practices as well as ensuring appropriate controls and enterprise wide risk management plans and systems are in place to control associated risks.
Prior to her work at Pacific Blue Cross, Suzanne was the Deputy Registrar of the College of Pharmacists of British Columbia for over 9 years. In her capacity as Deputy Registrar, Suzanne assisted the Registrar in ensuring successful execution of the College Board’s strategic plan, enhancing stakeholder engagement and inter-professional collaboration, as well as leading the complaints, investigations and legislation departments.
Prior to her work at the College, Suzanne was employed by the government of British Columbia for over 13 years in the positions of Executive Director and Senior Pharmacist of the BC PharmaCare program. While with government Suzanne led many inter-professional, and federal/provincial/territorial drug policy development initiatives such as evidenced based drug review processes, limited use drug coverage, special authorization expert committees and standardized product listing agreements. She was also a provincial partner in the development of the Common Drug Review.
Suzanne co-chaired the first phase of the National Pharmaceuticals Strategy, and was chair of the Advisory Committee on Pharmaceuticals, Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technology in Health.
Roy Tam, BSc (Agr)’98 – Faculty of Land and Food Systems
Roy was born and raised in Vancouver and holds a BSc of Food Science from UBC and an MBA from the University of Phoenix. He joins Daiya from the role of Associate Vice- President, R&D and Quality at Nature’s Path Foods where he spent the last 10 years leading a team of Food Scientists, Nutritionists, Quality Assurance Managers, Regulatory and Consumer Services team members. His main responsibilities included developing pioneering innovation pipelines, driving margin improvement, and discerning consumer and market research to deliver the greatest opportunity for new product launch success.
Roy is well versed in the natural and organic space with a wide network of suppliers, consultants, and many other external partners. Prior to joining Nature’s Path Foods, Roy worked for brands such as Kraft Foods and Campbell Soup in the USA where he was able to hone his skills in R&D, manufacturing, and quality.
Roy is a proud father of three children and has been married to his beautiful wife, Cathy, for almost 15 years. In his spare time, Roy enjoys exercising, so that he can feed into his other passion: eating! Roy loves to explore different food cuisines and is always up for trying new and unique foods. Roy is also a part time chauffeur (who doesn’t get paid) as he constantly drives his kids from one activity to another such as figure skating lessons, badminton practices, Chinese school, tutoring, swimming lessons, and Air Cadet requirements. Lastly, Roy is a member of the alumni UBC Advisory Council where he volunteers his time to provide advice and counsel on strategies, special work teams, and active dialogues around university issues and opportunities.
Katherina Tarnai-Lokhorst, BASc’87 – Regional Market – Victoria
Dr. Katherina Tarnai-Lokhorst, P.Eng., FEC, graduated from UBC with her Bachelor of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1987. A Professional Engineer in BC specializing in aerodynamic design, aircraft manufacturing and leadership, Katherina began instructing as Faculty at Camosun College in 1994 and as Adjunct Professor at UBC Mechanical Engineering, in 2017.
Katherina holds a Master of Business Administration (UofPhx ’07) and a Doctor of Social Sciences (RRU ’18). Her dissertation explores the perceptions of gendered careers in high school with the goal of increasing gender diversity in engineering. She worked closely with Physics 11 teachers to develop new discovery-based learning guides that incorporated engineering design principles into Physics laboratory activities. These activities identified trends in increasing students’ feelings of inclusion, self-efficacy and belonging.
Katherina is frequently invited to speak at conferences and forums on her research and community work, most recently at the BCIT Diversity Circle and at the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade Women’s Leadership Circle.
Having served as an elected member of Council for five years, Katherina is currently President of Engineers and Geoscientists BC (egbc.ca). She has served on several academic and corporate governance committees and is a Fellow of Engineers Canada, recognition for her years of exemplary service and commitment to the profession of engineering.
Katherina is Principal of the Lokhorst Group Ventures and, through the years, has been active in the Victoria community through various roles with United Way Greater Victoria and the Community Justice Association of Greater Victoria. Currently, Katherina sits on the UBC Alumni Victoria Leadership Council, is Music Minister and Cantor at her parish in Saanich, BC, and sings in a semi-professional jazz trio.
Sean Thorne – VP, Alumni Relations – Student Alumni Council
A fourth-year student in International Relations, Sean is the current Vice President, Alumni Relations of the Student Alumni Council. Passionate about the UBC Community, Sean has been involved in numerous places around campus in his four years as a student. In addition to the SAC, he is a Campus Tours Student Ambassador, has been a Jump Start Orientation Leader, and is a Scholars Community Program Ambassador with UBC Development and Alumni Engagement. Outside of school, Sean is a reservist in the Canadian Armed Forces and enjoys cooking and motorcycling, and is looking forward to postgraduate study in policy or law at the end of his degree.
Arthur Tsai, BSc (For Sci)’95, MSc’12 – Faculty of Forestry
Arthur Tsai leads Canfor’s lumber marketing analytics and intelligence for both domestic and international markets. He analyses market dynamics and emerging global trends to facilitate the organization’s long-term sales growth strategies. Key areas of focus include global competitive analysis, commodity price forecast, Lumber Futures hedging and forest products chain of custody certifications. Arthur has over 25 years of experience in the BC wood products industry and graduated from UBC Faculty of Forestry with BSF’95 and MSc’12.
Jason Tse, BA’92 – Faculty of Arts
Jason Tse is an aviation, technology, and economic development professional with a hybrid of experience and education in finance and marketing. Jason is currently with the Vancouver Airport Authority in Cargo and Land Development area as the lead in the development cargo growth at YVR. He is also currently Executive Director for MAPLE Business Council’s BC Chapter, a bilateral trade organization promoting trade between the US and Canada and a Principal with MAPLE Business Advisors.
As a passionate supporter of economic development and international trade, Jason also serves on the Advisory Board for the World Trade Vancouver, and is an Executive and Director on the Board of the Richmond Chamber of Commerce.
He recently served a secondment as Executive Director of Business Development at HQ Vancouver, a private public partnership to promote the establishment of corporate head offices in B.C. Having been with YVR since 2000 he has also held previous roles in Corporate Finance, Innovative Travel Solutions, and Air Service Development prior to joining them from TD Bank’s Commercial Banking unit.
Jason holds an MBA from the University of Saskatchewan, a BA in Economics from UBC and holds both the Canadian Investment Manager and Chartered Financial Analyst designations. He has held previous board positions with the Hong Kong Canada Business Association, Tourism Richmond, the Richmond Museum Society and the Council for the Americas.
Jason has championed the cause for hiring interns and fresh graduates and has brought on a host interns from both UBC and other schools to the airport over the last decade. He has been a Golden Key Tri Mentor and Arts Tri-mentor and has been working closely with the Vancouver School of Economics over the last several years to develop their Advisory Board and outreach into the corporate community.
Jason enjoys playing softball, volleyball, and skiing outside of work and coaches youth baseball.
Harjot Uppal – President, Student Alumni Council
Currently serving as the President of the Student Alumni Council, Harjot’s efforts focus on bridging the communication gap between alumni and undergraduate students. Her work is rooted in her passion for helping empower undergraduate students and providing them access to a diverse network of connections. Harjot’s passion for connecting students extends to her local community, where she helps facilitate mentor-mentee pairings between high school and university students through a self-initiated mentorship program.
Harjot’s enthusiasm for improving the undergraduate student experience is further echoed through her involvement as an elected Vice-President External for the Science Undergraduate Society (SUS). Her role in SUS emphasizes increasing transparency, accountability, and diversity while actively advocating on behalf of the student body.
As a current Co-op student with a keen interest in healthcare and research, Harjot is actively expanding her knowledge about the processes that govern clinical trials through the Manges Lab at the BC Centre for Disease Control. In her free time, Harjot enjoys learning history and foreign languages.